Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The New England Crime Bake - Mystery Conference Par Excellence

This post is a plug for the New England Crimebake, a mystery conference for writers and readers--anyone interesting in the crime-writing genre which includes not just mysteries, suspense and thrillers, but true crime writing, screen writing, well, you name it.

Up front, I have to confess I have been on this committee for eight years now, and was one of the founding members, so this is a writing event near and dear to my heart. We have folks from as far away as California and Florida, so this is by not a conference for locals but for everyone.

In addition to Harlan Coben as Guest of Honor, we have Brunonia Barry (The Lace Reader) who has created a huge buzz with her Salem set novel of mystery and history, which I am eager to read. According to yesterday's Globe, the novel was self-published until William Morrow acquired it for big bucks. Gives hope to all the self-pub grubbing along in their get-no-respect ruts.

Below is a list of reasons why you might want to attend the Crimebake which takes place in Dedham, MA, a short convenient hop from Boston on November 14-16th. The Dedham Hilton is a great venue for a conference and the room rates are fab. I know, having just reserved a room for a road trip.

Back to the Crimebake. One of Harlan Coben's thrillers, Tell No One, is now a first run movie set in France. I read the novel and it was great, with twists and turns that kept the reader engrossed. I've seen Harlan in action as a panelist and he's an entertainer as well as a respected writer.

Here are some reasons, in reverse order, why you might want to schlepp yourself to Massachusetts in mid-November for this truly cool event.

After arriving at the Dedham Hilton, feast on pizza and conversation at the FREE pizza party where you can meet and greet mystery readers, writers, agents and editors. Rub your elbows raw!

Following the FREE pizza party, you get to choose to attend one of two fabulous and FREE Friday night workshops: Practicing Your Pitch with Lynne Heitman, a huge hit at previous Crime Bake conferences or Creating Your Wave with publicist Susan Schwartzman about how to effectively market your mystery in today’s tough market. Schmooze and booze afterwards in the bar.

Yes, another FREEBIE! Crime Bake conference attendees are entitled to sign up for a FREE 5-minute one-on-one session to pitch their work to a literary agent. This year, attendees will have the opportunity to list their top three agent choices. Don’t wait to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity. See below.

The agents are coming, the agents are coming and they include some of the finest, including Janet Reid, Donna Bagdasarian, Susan Gleason, Christine Witthohn, Ann Collette, Esmond Harmsworth, Sorche Fairbank and Gina Panettieri. Yowsa!

Great Master Classes are offered again. Choose two from PLANNING THE PLAYS - "Painless Research" with Kathy Lynn Emerson; WHO'S ON FIRST - "Point of View" with Hallie Ephron; HITTING IT OUT OF THE PARK - "Ten Key Ingredients For a Successful Thriller" with Gary Braver; and PEEWEE LEAGUE - "Writing for Young Audiences" with Peter Abrahams.

Gary and Hallie have new books out. This is such a great opportunity to rub elbows with all these fab New England authors. My writing-group compadre and friend Sibylle Barrasso will be on a panel, Sibylle's first novel, Dark Waters, is coming out next month, and the reviews are great. Folks, it can happen.

Manuscript Critiques are available. Attendees may submit a 15-page writing sample (novel or short story) in advance and receive a one-on-one critique with a published mystery author during the conference. Professional feedback can be an invaluable addition to your writing group and your brother-in-law's snarky comments.

A fountain of forensic experts, including the popular Poison Lady, will hold panels where you an can fill your writing well with ideas on how to commit those dastardly deeds. Or just find out how writer's do it. Or pick up some hints for well, you know. Ahem.

You can dine elbow to elbow with agents, authors, editors and forensic experts at the SATURDAY NIGHT BANQUET where the menu includes delicious food and maybe even a book deal. Your fabulous Saturday night will be topped by “Mystery Bingo” hosted by our own prime-time Hank Phillippi Ryan.

The number one reason to register for Crime Bake today is the NUMBER ONE New York Times, Los Angeles Times and London Times author and our Guest of Honor, HARLAN COBEN.

Hey, don't forget Bruonia Barry, either. If you attend, say hello to Grapeshot at the registration desk or in the bar, esp. in the bar after hours, pounding down the vin rouge tres ordinaire. Be there!!!!

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